When you want to get festive fast, you turn to HomeGoods. At least that's what actress and frequent "Rachael Ray" Show guest Vanessa Lachey did for her L.A. home. (Celebs, they're just like us!) Luckily, we caught up with Lachey to get her HomeGoods shopping strategies and decor ideas for the season.
Tip #1: Pick a pattern and stick to it. Hone in on what you love—plaid, a fair isle snowflake pattern, candy cane stripes—and repeat that motif throughout your home to keep things simple. “When I found festive red-and-black buffalo plaid pillows at HomeGoods, I immediately decided to make the pattern a focus point in my favorite entertaining spaces,” says Lachey, whose living room is pictured above. Textiles are a natural place to start with patterned holiday decor. But Lachey also added coordinating accessories like an adorable lumberjack nutcracker, a festive garland, and tree ornaments all with that same tonal check, which ties together different spaces effortlessly. The more, the merrier, but up to an extent—a matching throw, stockings, and maybe a couple of ornaments are great, but don’t put pattern everywhere, or the eye won’t know where to look for a focal point.
Tip #2: Get creative with your table settings. Instead of normal place cards, try tying snowflake ornaments to your napkin rings and writing guests' names on each of them. These then become nice little dinner party favors. Red glassware is festive and fancies up a table, so try something in that shade. Don't be afraid to pattern-mix with your dinnerware. If you stick to a limited palette (just red and black tones, for example, as seen here), this will help to make the table look and feel cohesive.
Tip #3: Make the most of your mantel. Who says you have to have create some crazy elaborate tableau on your mantel? Not Lachey. Instead of masking the pretty architectural trim on her fireplace with tons of accessories that take a long time to arrange, Lachey draped a single simple garland over it. And if you can't spark up the logs, not to worry. Stick a few pillar candles in your firebox, and it'll be just as warm and toasty looking.
Tip #4: Don't forget the kitchen. When it comes to sprucing up your house for the season, work smarter—not harder. People tend to congregate around the kitchen at parties, so be sure to extend a few festive touches there. But you don't have to go overboard. A little tabletop tree and a few hits of red or sparkle will get the job done—think crystal decanters or holiday glassware, festive mugs or even a metallic red cocktail shaker or tray.
So go get your holiday on and spread joy throughout your house. A few festive touches is all it really takes. What are you waiting for?